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Didactic Learning Experiences

Didactic Conference Series
At both Allegheny General Hospital and West Penn Hospital, we feature both a morning report conference, generally a case based discussion with faculty experts working through the practical aspects of diagnosis and management, as well as a daily noon lecture which is on a variety of topics.  The lectures focus on delivering medical didactic content, while also featuring recurring conferences such as Medical Grand Rounds, Journal Club, Morbidity/Mortality Conference, Patient Safety Conference, and the Board Review Series.

Ambulatory Half Day
One half day per week on ambulatory rotations is dedicated toward didactic learning.  During this time, the entire rotating cohort convenes together for conferences that range from case-based discussions, physical examination and clinical skill workshops, and didactic teaching on primary care topics.  Not only do these conferences provide a complementary method to the more experiential learning of supervised clinical care, they also foster a great spirit of camaraderie within the cohorts, each functioning as a smaller unit within our program. It makes our big program feel smaller by allowing the residents to get to know a small group of colleagues very well.

Simulation and OSCEs
All res in our program train in the STAR (Simulation, Teaching, and Academic Research) Center multiple times each academic year. Located on the West Penn Hospital campus, this world-class training facility uses the latest in simulation technology to provide controlled learning scenarios for participants.  The center’s virtual hospital environment includes several training rooms, numerous programmable manikin simulators and task trainers, and a host of other equipment to simulate a wide variety of patient care scenarios.  As part of a longitudinal patient-physician communication curriculum, residents also participate in simulated patient discussion sessions. During the sessions, residents practice communication with simulated patients surrounding sensitive topics such as end of life discussions, with observation and feedback from faculty and the simulated patient delivered in real time. Another practical way for residents to gain practice and feedback on their clinical skills is the Observed Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE) series, in which preceptors observe residents performing history and physical exams on patients, providing them real time feedback on focused areas of emphasis on a rotating basis through the year.

High-Value Cost Conscious Care
Our program is dedicated to training healthcare professionals for whom High Value Care (HVC) is a part of normal practice. When physicians are trained with these principals in mind, they provide patients with improved clinical outcomes at lower costs. Our program’s HVC task Force (consisting of faculty, CMR, interested residents) meets frequently to determine how to best promote the practice of HVC in our training program. Through the use of the American College of Physicians’ HCV Curriculum, monthly HVC morning report sessions, interactive HVC cases we’ve developed and discuss during our academic ambulatory half-day sessions, we can confidently say our residents are well-prepared to provide their patients with excellent, cost-conscious care.